Kevin Neeld — Hockey Training, Sports Performance, & Sports Science

Hockey Conditioning: Where to start

Different players will have different limiting factors to their conditioning. Answering these questions may help the player hone in on more specific strategies for their individual needs:

  1. Can the player hold low positions for extended periods of time? (see previous post for target times)
  2. Can the player generate speed? (see previous series for information on #SpeedTrainingforHockey)
  3. Can the player repeat high speed efforts within a shift?
  4. Can the player sustain speed within a shift?
  5. Can the player sustain speed throughout a game?

While it’s possible to address each of these things at the same time, it’s more effective to pick a target and focus on that.

For example, lactic capacity work, which will help improve within-shift sustainability, will compromise gains in speed and power. As a result, it’s better to train these qualities on different days, and preferably in different phases. 

In contrast, speed/power and repeat speed work can be trained on the same days, with aerobic work built into days between the higher intensity training sessions. 

As a general rule, players will benefit from following this hierarchy: Low Position Endurance -> Speed -> Repeat Sprint/Aerobic -> Lactic Capacity 

Feel free to post any other comments/questions you have below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. For comprehensive programs to improve your speed AND repeat sprint ability, check out: Speed Training for Hockey

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Kevin Neeld

Kevin Neeld Knows Hockey

Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.